An Bradán Feasa

(featured image by the brilliant Quinn Blackburn found here.)

And now for something completely different…

The way is long and convoluted to her house, but when I arrive, the journey behind me feels like a breath. Old and wrinkled, bright clear eyes, she’s at the door of the ancient stone cottage, wooden spoon in hand. Behind her in the hearth, flames leap, steams and interesting smells waft.

“You again,” and I ride a wave of defensiveness of my intention. This visit was unplanned and is always happening, and I must bring a pure heart.

“Greetings, beloved Grandmother,” I begin, and bow deeply. Then, with an inhale for courage, “I seek An Bradán Feasa.”

A sparse white eyebrow raises. “Why would the likes of you…”

“I need to know, how do I work with these subtle forces well?”

“What is well?” She is untying her apron, stepping fully out into the sun, upright carriage though she is impossibly old. “What is work?”

I am silenced with the immensity of this journey.

I say instead, “How can I host gentle, loving curiosity and kind regard in this moment?”

“Come,” as if these words reveal my heart, and we walk into the deep grove of ancient trees. We approach a large poplar I know well, roots exposed, and she nods, “Here is the way.”

And I dive into the roots, first deep down, and then spanning across until I burst into a crystalline pool.

“I seek An Bradán Feasa,” I announce underwater, and the huge ancient Salmon of Knowing is swimming beside me.

“Do you come devoted to not knowing?”

“Yes,” I say without considering, and An Bradán Feasa opens a great mouth and swallows me as if I were a hazelnut.

“What?” I am shocked in my consumption.

“This is participation,” I am instructed, “true and coherent with the whole.”

The fish swims deep and I watch from within as long, thin black strands of poop come out and float down into the depths.

Then the fish leaps into the air, a great arc of silver flash and rainbows of water crystals.

And in fear, I shout, “There are fishermen seeking you!”

An Bradán Feasa laughs and laughs, until I am shuddering with the motion.

“They see me leap,” and the great fish rises again in powerful joy.

Without warning, I am choking.

Wordless, together we follow the movement of the energy to the place where a prisoner of time is caged. A terrified and tiny being, unmet, restrained and constricted. She can’t breathe in her fear. We bring the space of loving curiosity and allow the energy to move. There is no attachment to what emerges, simply this respect for the blocked energy and the intention to release it through light and space.

And the next breath eases and opens and I sigh.

Exhausted, I rub my eyes and realize I am swimming up through the roots, back to my grandmother, who gives me a cheeky grin and a careful kiss on my third eye, and I am following the drums and the call to my place and time of the seven-chambered heart where my siblings open their own eyes and we regard each other in silent wonder, swimming gently in our connected stream.


Featured Ancient Wise One as recounted in Irish mythology.  A version can be found here.

Note: Normally, fish poop is the color of their food. Long stringy poop is a sign of stress. The long thin black poop right after eating me suggests a lot of toxins I brought to the mix, that An Bradán Feasa was able to process and expel.  I’m just guessing, standing in the invaluable “I don’t know.”

Girl Power!

We cease our labor, dive
into that fling your arms
around joy when you get
gotten. Fire uncovered
under pastel pretties,
our blaze begotten,
we discover girl power!
The musical beings we are
empower each other beyond
the scoffing provable hypotheses.
Doffing those scientific hats
we’re up to bat.
They doubt what we know
bound to their blinders
saying what’s so with
constant reminders of
facts they’ve learned in books.
We take a look and see
they’ve forgotten their experiments
need them, spirit-
less evidence decreed
crystals are just rocks,
for the lack of a voice box.
Soured by their lack of magic,
and even though that’s tragic,
we slide around their tricky
doubts, weaving our knowing
through their stance
without a single glance
to see if they’ll follow.
Listen: I’m a warrior for
sentience, it’s all stardust
wherever you are. Sitting criss-
cross applesauce with younglings
we discover how to run
rings around the stagnant
places. We do fun things:
offer handmade impossible
treats, our pizza flavors:
blueberry love
is our favorite. Singing
the new grove as we co-
create reality with no limits.
In harmony we offer
our hearts: just try one bite,
you’ll see just how we be.

Inspired by: Discover, Labor, Musical, Pastel and a visit with lovely grandnieces.


We Save Each Other

For James

This dissonance created by talking
heads spinning webs of deceit

is no mistake. Carefully crafted
disempowerment revealed in the dark.

Spiraling up. We start,
disturbed. Harvest what’s been

planted, brows wrinkled.
When we dare to question

we’re inundated with flippant
non-answers, rising like vapor

in our muddled midst.
We are awakening to the chaos

feeling alone. Despair.
We cannot make sense of

the cruelty of separation.
Across the planet, we tug

a line igniting our soul fire.
Oblivious, immersed in our unfixable

wrongness, even so we touch
the responsive field. Huddled

in pitch black, eyes closed
as the light hurtles us to day.

Every agonized step we take
loosens our silenced sisters’ bonds.

Every word we stutter dissolves
the others’ gags. Every gasp

breathes. Our connected hearts
pulse to the living now.

Written for #OctPoWriMo Day 1 prompt a dark night of the soul and inspired by: Flippant, Vapor, Harvest and Wrinkle. and a suicidal tweet by a young autistic gay person in England this morning.

Leap Out (of the box)

The nos are the stepping stones that get you there ~ Andrea Waltz

If I modify the picture
I recall based on these two

(a throbbing innovator poised
on the ledge and my crotchety

father’s why can’t he mind?)
I discover I have never been

naughty. Arriving here
with a hero’s heart

—dressed in pink lace (torn)
with tight shiny shoes (flung)—

bright eyes and the evidence
so clear my oldest brother

needed glasses from hearing so
many nos. I’m leaping forward

then to go back now
circling into myself

and the most powerful version
of us. (Standing up and away

from those little desks and the prattled
history lies, reciting the facts

blocking the intuitive
deep knowing.) A grandmother might

open the door (but she’s pacing
forgetful, safe in a place

that reeks of urine and bleach.)
Schoolmates pushed in competition

separation, everyone desperate
for unconditional regard.

Today I belong, ready for this
daring feat together, right

beside him embracing
non-linear time.

Inspired by Recall, Picture, Modify and Naughty.